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2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

Before you jump into today’s prompt, please check out this WD Poetic Form Challenge: Tanka post. Every month or so, I offer a poetic form challenge that usually has a quick turnaround time, but the winning poem and poet is featured in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine. And it’s completely free to participate! Click to continue.

For today’s prompt, write an unlucky poem. Today is Friday the 13th, and I think it’s the perfect opportunity to wax poetic about anything and everything unlucky.

Here’s my attempt:

“Lovesick B.”

My baby said yes
when I was saying no;
she said speed up
when I was going slow;
my girl wanted space
when I finally had room;
she swept me away
and handed me the broom.


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325 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

  1. mschied

    A wish for Lady Luck

    Dearest Lady

    I offer the following as proof of my devotion:

    One perfectly pressed specimen of
    seamair bhuí,
    the four-leaved variety

    Not one, but two
    scratched off cash-words cards
    (so you can practice spelling at the same time)

    And just for a stylish pizazz of luck
    vintage 1960s rabbit’s foot, faux
    bright magenta hue

    Since it is clear I am a humble

    and devoted


    shower your golden shimmer
    of fortune upon my head
    and these raffle tickets

    for I desperately need an IPAD

    P.S. Let’s not have repeat of last time
    where a close relative (not to be named)
    purchases an embarrassingly
    small amount of chances
    and ended up
    walking away
    with the whole

    I know fortune is fickle,
    but that’s pushing it a bit,
    don’t you think?

  2. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Unlucky Day

    Today the Emperor of the World
    announced that his grandparents,
    both sets, were back from the dead
    (Remember, he reminded me, God
    can do anything.) and residing again
    in their previous homes. I wondered
    what the man thought who purchased
    my childhood home when the ghosts
    (oh, I forgot, the resurrected bodies)
    of my mom and dad appeared and
    evicted him.
    Did my mother-in-law
    suddenly materialize, canning tongs
    in hand, apron neatly tied, and nudge
    aside the woman who was cooking
    on her old stove? My father-in-law,
    fiddle in hand, shoving open the door
    to the milking barn, would confiscate
    the stool, unseating the current sitter.

    How unlucky for all of them to have
    their sequential existences co-mingled.

  3. Pat Carroll Marcantel


    Remember Al Capp?

    Lil’ Abner & company?

    Remember Joe Btfspik, the

    little character who had nothing but

    bad luck his whole cartoon life? Oh, it was

    sad. Some days I felt like Joe. Some weeks too.

    But then I stumbled across someone’s brilliant thought:

    “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity,” and I believed.

  4. Caren

    A Gift

    I tripped on a black cat and started to fall
    Knocked over a mirror that hung in the hall
    It broke into pieces as it fell off the wall
    This is no good at all! This is no good at all!

    Stepped under a ladder and on every crack
    Opened an umbrella, now I’m under attack
    Since I lost my rabbit’s foot, my life’s out of whack
    How do I get back? How do I get back?

    I broke a champagne glass while making a toast
    I hit “delete all” while typing this post
    If having bad luck was a gift I could boast
    Yes, I have the most. Yes, I have the most.

    Caren E. Salas

  5. Tanjamaltija

    Bad Luck or Bad Decision?

    Worms of worry
    Drain my brain
    Cyclops mirror steals my sleep

    Stifling synapses
    Throttling thoughts
    And smiting ideas

    Whirligigs though my mind
    Shattered dreams and injured pride
    I was taken for a ride… they lied.

    Helpless sadness
    Hapless madness
    Overwhelming tide; hurt pride.

    Black tomorrows
    Untold sorrows.

    Feeling weird
    No one cheered; they all jeered
    And sneered.

    Unfulfilled pledge…
    What “cutting edge”?

    Replayed scenes
    Crumbling castles in the air

    Why did I not leave well, alone?

    Sad emotions
    Darkest notions
    Creating doubt and fear…

    I hate my green Mohican.

  6. Paoos69


    A cat crossed my path this morning

    Will bad luck come my way?

    I staggered on nonetheless

    Hoping nothing will happen today

    Two days later I broke a glass bowl

    Will bad luck my way?

    Was the instant thought

    But the day went fine, no disarray

    Few days later I tripped on my own toe

    Will bad luck come my way?

    A voice rang in my head

    But the day turned out almost perfect

    What is bad luck then?

    Just a mind-set? just superstition?

    Life is but a random set of events

    All about good luck, and bad luck

    But more importantly, love, and communication

  7. foodpoet


    Unlucky or not, 13 just a
    Number another day to get through
    Superstitions fears unfounded
    Can rule a life, walk this way NOW.

    Black cats, ladders, tunnels all found
    Unlucky or not, 13 just a
    Reminder of what is lost your
    special day lost in memory rubble

    Rabbits foot, penny on the street
    Can only cause accidents, leave alone
    Unlucky or not 13 just a
    Number even when found in threes

    I walk in ranges of number lost and found
    Avoid cracks and broken mirrors
    Still break a wishbone but for now
    Lucky 13 is just a reminder of you.

  8. Lynn Burton


    a funny
    thing, and you could be
    lucky if you aren’t unlucky.

    The black cat
    ran in front of my
    path, turned and
    hissed as if
    it was my fault I was there
    and maybe it was.

  9. Khara H.

    The Inheritance

    It has always been our lot in life
    to bear the weight of our children
    and our men.
    To rake fingers through scalp dry as winter
    and unhem the storm,
    soothe it out with a tin of grease,
    the same patience that has these sugars,
    these honeys, these tots, popping
    out our loins like dry beans out the fire only to watch
    and again
    them go down in flames.
    We know the steadfast pinch—
    being cut done between the bones,
    ironed out into smooth brown skins stretched too thin
    over too many other people’s sins.
    We know how to cup our split ends
    like honey in our hands and savor the ruins
    of what the world deemed
    too much good for one soul to keep—
    learned to smooth it out,
    thick white sour cream spectacle over
    red blood
    and redder bones
    and watch our babies swallow it up and swell
    into manhood when other men will pluck them like chickens,
    hang them like wind chimes off dark boughs,
    trees behind hills beyond
    where loving eyes can find them, find them—
    bring them home,
    bury them,
    wet them into fertile ground and watch them
    rise like roots,
    strike at the threatening skies
    with bright black oil slick wings.

  10. mich

    A jumping toad tempts
    Sally to attempt a catch
    in the shallow pond
    cattails jiggle. Trip and fall
    down she goes white jeans and all
    Triumphant toad hops away
    — Lyn Michaud

  11. tunesmiff


    Girl, I don’t know what to say,
    I thought about it all dang day,
    Where did we go wrong?
    We’ve been together so long.

    I saw you on the town last night,
    Underneath those neon lights;
    With him arm in arm;
    He’d turned on his charm…

    You both looked like you had hit the jackpot…
    Like you’d both won the lottery…
    Lucky him…
    Lucky you…
    Unlucky me…

    I’d’ve never made the bet,
    That you and are are over yet,
    How could I not see?
    You’ve moved on from me.

    What matters is your smiling face,
    I wish I was still in his place;
    I’d pay any cost;
    But it looks like I’ve lost…

    You both look like you’ve just hit the jackpot;
    Like you’ve won the lottery…
    Lucky him…
    Lucky you…
    Unlucky me…

    Lucky him…
    Lucky you…
    Unlucky me.

  12. hurtin-heart

    Today was your lucky day
    Wrong time,wrong place.
    But the time will come
    when you will pay
    for what you have done.
    They will be no one
    there to stop me,
    my revenge will taste so sweet.
    When i give to you what you gave.
    I am watching you,the day will come.
    You shouldn’t have done what you done.
    I know i am wrong in how i feel.
    Justice is not for me to give.
    But it’s an eye for an eye
    and tooth for a tooth now.
    Your luck has finally run out.
    How unlucky for you!
    Samantha Tinney

  13. zevd2001

    Out on the racks, hot and steaming,
    more in the oven ready to go. Out in the market
    people waiting, their sustenance, so close
    to the source . . . not enough, not enough
    the twelve that everybody gets
    for their penny farthing. The heat seethes

    from inside. The eyes drool at the cracks
    between the doors imagining
    the dough rising. Filling the space,
    its scents maddening, the crust cracking
    expanding, as the air pockets grow . . .

    here the taste of more grows, drunk nostrils
    and bloated bellies, more, more. Were twelve
    enough to fill our appetites we’d be home
    already. No, the men who knead the flour and water
    know the knocks

    at their doors, one more,
    one more than twelve, rolls down upon the counter, yes
    out of the smoldering embers, our bellies
    demanding thirteen, no less, and no more.

    Zev Davis

  14. shann


    She was the kind of Texas woman
    who didn’t have two cents to rub,
    but if she could manage to find
    a handful of shiny nickels, she’d win
    enough at a slot machine in Vegas
    to buy groceries for her family for a week.

    I was walking with her when she conjured
    a twenty from under a fist-sized rock
    on Rincon Road in nineteen sixty-nine,
    I rode shotgun when we had to pray
    our way home on a shallow sniff of gas
    in the worst rainstorm that summer.

    She could puff a breath on her fingers,
    then take out ten pins- ball scooting
    down the alley like it was hypnotized,
    ready to slam itself against the back wall,
    she’d take sucker bets without a miss
    for hours, even trick shots with a blindfold.

    She lost only two things: me, to a yankee,
    and her life in single hand. She tried hard
    to let ride for another round of hold ‘em
    but cancer is the house that always wins.
    When her will was read, luck wasn’t in it,
    she must’ve used it all up in the end.

  15. randalljweiss

    I’m running late but trying to catch up.

    “Tough Luck”


    Asked to clear his desk by 5:00.
    Lied to his wife. Told her
    Everything will be okay.
    Packed a copier paper box
    with family pictures and that
    worthless 15 Years Service plaque.
    Typed a Fuck You email
    to the CEO. Deleted it unsent.


  16. Anders Bylund

    Better Lucky Than Prepared
    Fall on one knee
    Take her hand
    Time to make her
    Just how close I
    Need her by
    When she runs, I’ll
    Wonder why
    Luck favors the proactive
    Not good enough to be attractive!

  17. Jannelee

    I mean no disrespect to one of my favorite poets, Edgar Allen Poe. I just thought it might be fun to lighten up this prompt and pay homage to the master of macabre. It is a poor attempt at best, but I had fun with it.


    Once upon a night most weary,I contemplated,
    tired and bleary
    over many a thumbed and dog eared volume of
    forbidden lore
    While I dozed, nearly slumping,
    suddenly there came a thumping
    as of someone loudly knocking,
    knocking on my bedroom door
    It’s only father, I grumbled, here to implore
    It’ll be that and probably more

    Yes, I remember it was a sad,
    cold November
    And I knew in my very marrow,
    what I had put off until tomorrow
    the lessons I had failed to follow
    would now bring me great sorrow
    For, sadly I was about to walk
    the straight and narrow
    I had no options to explore
    It’ll be that and probably more

    But each angry curse,
    brought on hysterical mirth
    as silly images of his mad
    and blustering visage
    Rattled and danced across
    my brain most addled
    So now to broker my wild
    and maniacal laughter
    I did something I will regret ever after
    I looked my father in the eye and ask him why

    He sputtered at my absurd gumption
    to utter such a presumption
    I really had him railing
    about my latest, dismal failing
    If had I only studied harder,
    I might be a just little smarter
    and with a a parting bash
    he yelled, get rid of the trash
    before we come to an impasse
    and nobody likes a wise ass
    I’m that and probably more

  18. PSC in CT

    Unlucky Sign

    He woke up this morning determined,
    decided; resolved nothing should —
    nothing would — change his mind
    this time

    Too many gray days, so much
    water under the bridge
    no way to go back, no reason to
    go on

    But, pausing on the brink, thinks
    some small sign, a patch of blue
    perhaps, might change his mind

  19. Katrin

    The river to Luck
    is winding,

    No guarantees, Un-Lucky,
    because, really,
    it’s Luck, after all,
    and who has ever
    invested Faith in Luck
    and consistently
    kept afloat?

    The boat leaks,
    the eddying dominates,
    and need I mention
    the Waterfall?

    Read the safety manuals,
    be one with the bright orange
    lifejacket puffing up
    your paddling, watch out for
    submerged rock,
    And expect


  20. DarmaZ

    Yoda Speaks My Truth

    Half full, the cup is
    Worse could string of troubles be
    Unlucky, I’m not
    Good thing the bright side I like
    It seems my gloom works not…yes.

  21. Jamal Abboud

    It Was Late December

    It was late December
    Which was unlike last winter
    The sun shone brightly on the bay
    And the rocks reflected a light grey
    And the salty cold water
    Undulated beneath a gilded sheet of ray
    Yet still it was a chilly clear Sunday
    So my child, me and his mother
    Indoors, a warm languor induced us to stay
    Even I promised him to go fishing pleasure
    To build his dreamy castle together

    Gloomily came Monday
    Accompanied by his loving mother
    Through angry furious weather
    Our little angel would not bother
    Of heavy burden on his shoulder
    His books, his future and a bottle of water
    Just gazed with eyes of bleak glimmer
    A gaze at me that of blame, of soft mutter
    Then to the bay we gazed together
    What had been perfectly near
    A day before was then further.

  22. lionmother

    The Unlucky Ones ( Thoughts on Tsunami 2011)

    They were unlucky
    to have been born
    in a place where the
    wind held court over all
    where the ocean
    reclaimed land long
    domesticated and
    refined until buds
    grew and houses
    stood painted and
    How unlucky to
    have been born
    in a place where
    water slid over all
    blanketing cars
    covering pavement
    forcing some to
    seek shelter in
    crowds with
    bodies lying
    side by side on
    thin cots listening
    to the snores and
    cries of just met
    How unlucky to
    be in a place
    where no one
    would ever be
    able to reclaim
    their homes and
    radiation overruled

  23. Marcia Gaye

    What Are the Odds?

    Unlucky in Love.
    Always been me.
    How I’ve tried to break that spell.
    It started even before I was born.
    Daddy didn’t want me.
    But at sixteen Michael did
    So we got married.
    The curse reared up before too long.
    Michael was all wrong for me.
    I don’t believe in curses.
    I do believe in me.
    Undaunted I carried on.

    There was/were the boy/s in college
    All after only one thing.
    Each and every time I thought
    the thing was me.

    Deadbeats plague me
    But Mama didn’t raise me
    To be no fool.
    Just unlucky in Love.

    A few more disasters before The One.
    The One thought worthy of a ring on the finger.
    Can’t say I wasn’t warned.
    I believed in change.
    I believed in me. My ability
    To discern, use what I’d learned.
    It wasn’t meant to be.
    Cursed luck. The
    ink is almost dry on the
    disillusion/dissolution papers.
    A few months and I’ll be free.

    And You, My True Love, you
    will be waiting.
    Red flags white flags.
    You’re waiting for me.

  24. David Yockel Jr.

    Just a Little Bit Off

    My luck is a tide that never comes in,
    a perfect lunar eclipse,
    nine fingers
    eight toes and a rotary phone.

    Long walks on a rocky beach,
    a pair of front row seats
    to an underfunded opera,

    Cheap whiskey, the Church
    of England and a wrinkled
    Armani tuxedo.

  25. Christod

    Her, Unlucky

    She asked me to look at her luck
    As if it was something solid I could
    knock on wood until it cracked free
    Of form and revealed the stuff
    that dreams are made of on:

    A pillow of bones and a quilt made
    Of bad plans.

  26. Linda Voit

    Reflection on “Unlucky”

    I’m not sure I believe in the word unlucky.
    If I use it to describe the loss of my parents
    or, say, cancer, it is inadequate and ridiculous.
    If I use it to describe the time
    I lost some business I had planned on
    or the fact that I drove a hour
    out of my way last night or that I dropped
    a favorite glass, it is an excuse
    for my own or other’s contributions, or worse,
    it denies the energy of the universe working magic
    I can not even conceive. I don’t use the word
    unless I must for a poetry prompt.

    Linda Voit

  27. seingraham

    Misfortunate by Birth

    She knew what people said
    About her, the phrases
    Used – she was referred to
    as “accident prone”,”hapless”,
    “unlucky”,”cursed”, “luckless”
    And so on …
    And there was ample reason

    After all, if she tried a sport,
    She broke bones – hers
    If she invested money – she
    lost hers and more …
    Should she go to the track
    with friends and bet on a race,
    Not only did her horse lose –
    it usually came last, or actually
    fell down dead …
    “cursed” didn’t halfway cover
    what she was.

    She was inexplicably cheerful
    Given her lot in life
    But when she was left alone
    At the altar for the third time
    Jilted – walked out on again …
    Something snapped; she decided
    Enough was too much
    She wanted to be gone
    From this unfortunate life

    What was the point, she wondered
    What was the use, she pondered
    Why keep beating her head
    Against a wall that just left
    Her bloodied and bowed
    When really all she wanted
    Was out – out of it all

    She knew it was going to take
    Some meticulous planning
    If she was going to pull
    Off a successful suicide
    Especially hers … she knew very
    Well the chances of her screwing
    Up her own death were excellent

    She wasn’t sure she could stand that
    But thought wryly, what difference
    Would it make – it’s not like
    She’d go out and kill herself
    If her suicide attempt went sideways
    Was it? Even she could see the humour
    In a rather humourless situation

    Still, she had to acknowledge,
    What did she have to lose?
    Nada, nil, zilch – nothing
    At the most, there would be
    Just one more failure added to the list
    Of unfortunate things about her
    That people could talk about …

    Maybe she could set some kind of record
    Maybe she would get into that book


  28. Sheryl

    Unlucky Days

    Unlucky days are
    Not about luck.
    Life can be sporadic,
    Chaos at times—
    Kicking too much
    Yucky stuff our way.

    Deal with it
    Yell, if needed.
    So it is.

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  29. Mary Mansfield


    The wheel of fortune spins,
    Throwing omens of ill will onto my path,
    Attempting to instill fear into my life.
    I laugh at the owl outside
    My window in the dawn’s light,
    As I snuggle close to my black cats.
    Wrapped in the fragments of broken mirrors,
    I step on sidewalk cracks with no qualms,
    Tempting fate underneath ladders,
    Dancing through rooms,
    Open umbrella in hand.

    I’ve no need for lucky charms,
    Horseshoes or four leaf clovers,
    Rabbit’s feet or found pennies.
    The omens mean so little,
    For once upon a time
    A spider wove my initials into her web,
    Bestowing good luck upon me
    For the rest of my days.

  30. LCaramanna

    Exactly Last

    At 13 minutes to post
    on Friday the 13th
    I bet $13 to win
    on #13
    in the 13th race –
    (a gray horse
    named…… LuckyLady)
    at 13 to 1 odds.

    As luck would have it,
    left the gate
    trailed the field
    around the racetrack,
    crossed the finish line
    13 lengths behind…….
    the 1 (Havenofear) and 3 (Friday Filly).

    Thirteen lucky ticket holders
    collected $1300
    on that 1-3 exacta
    on Friday the 13th
    while I tossed my unlucky ticket
    in the trash…
    exactly last.

  31. Sally Jadlow

    We called him Lucky

    But he was far from it.
    First he was run over
    by the tractor.
    Then the rooster
    used him for pecking practice.
    The tomcat hissed at him
    every time Lucky walked near.

    In spite of this,
    he lived to a ripe old age
    of fifteen,
    until a tornado took
    that unlucky pup
    on one Friday the thirteenth.

  32. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Friday 13

    I woke up
    with a raging head cold.

    Both cats
    vomited their breakfast.

    had terrible leg pains.

    I hauled him off to the doctor.
    By then, I was so dosed up
    I managed not to sneeze
    all over the waiting-room.

    We both forgot to report
    the shoulder pain he’s also had
    for days, unresponsive
    to anything we’ve tried so far.

    But anyway, the doc prescribed
    new medication, as a trial,
    for the agonised nerves in his legs:
    a quarter the usual dose
    (i.e. half a tablet) to start,
    at night. Come back in a week
    and we’ll see if we up it.

    At bedtime I opened the box.
    Uh-oh, capsules. Instruction
    on box: take half; on
    manufacturer’s leaflet: do not
    cut open the capsule
    and use just the contents. So —
    no medication for him this night.

    We watched TV, a show I like.
    He pronounced it corny.

    I had a poem to write,
    working in my head; stayed up
    to get it written. He
    interrupted, repeatedly, to insist
    I ought to be in bed. I at length
    erupted. (I wonder,
    can the neighbours
    hear me screech?)

    We didn’t get much sleep.

    I‘d like to be able to blame
    Friday 13.

  33. De Jackson


    they tell her how


             she is
    that he didn’t cut her
    that he didn’t kill her
    that they caught him
    that he’ll never be able to do it again
               doesn’t feel lucky
                    at all.

  34. deedeekm

    I am not going to jump into
    The crazy pool
    With a little luck
    I will just wade in
    The shallows
    Getting toes wet
    But holding my nose just in case
    Because luck is a bitch
    That goes her own way
    With no thought for life preservers
    I wade with an umbrella
    The sun is shining
    But just beyond that hill
    There is a helluva storm
    Waiting to flood
    My plane and I know
    The truth
    You have to swim
    Through the muck
    To see a rainbow

  35. Yolee

    Mami’s second cousin, Aurora, cautioned that rotting wood and stones (in lieu of stairs) to her house were slick.
    Petrichor hiked up my nose as my sister, parents and I lumbered amid the Caribbean rain, fatter than the pulp we got back in Chicago. There was no place to sit inside
    and have a polite visit, where Mami and her 70 something cousin could catch up.

    I was shocked to see shoes, ceramic fowls, paveras, and broken appliance stacked on a tv circa 1970, obese bags, paper piles, disembodied toys.
    No floral couch, no side table or antique lamp set on a doily, instead metal chairs were placed at the door’s archway.

    In the front room, where perhaps living was once done, several clotheslines, heavied with men’s pants paced the air like they had thoughts of their own.

    There was a daughter, perhaps in her 40s; cheekbones beautifully positioned on a face that hid stories of perhaps abandonment of a life concrete and evident.
    The few words she spoke were well educated.

    Out of the blue, Aurora mentioned her son hanged himself in a bedroom she pointed to behind the rusted washer.
    Her husband also died in an unspecified room in the house.

    Aurora’s voice towed shame and melancholy.
    I wondered if the hording was a way to trap misfortune, bury it under waste and novellas filled with absent-hearted ghosts.

  36. ely the eel

    I Can Hear Clearly Now

    Fresh from a fitting
    of expensive ear plugs,
    a trainee of twenty
    put a pause to my huh?’s,
    My wonderful wife
    beamed broadly to see
    the microphoned mini’s
    of total technology.
    The nice news is every
    wise word I now hear,
    the lousy luck is it includes
    trite talk, oh dear.

  37. Rosangela

    If you are unlucky

    It’s all in your head
    if you believe it,
    you can get mad
    if you accept it,
    you attract facts
    that you may regret.
    Watch your acts
    and your thoughts
    bad luck doesn’t grow in pots!
    You are the result of your mind
    not of what you find:
    a black cat, a ladder, a shoe horse
    13 is only a number – not anything worse.
    Friday? We celebrate with pizza at night!
    Wanna a bite?

  38. Andrea B


    by a pearl necklace
    laid place a stopgap
    to the strain of my voice
    lest it dampen
    your harbored interpretation
    of my promiscuous wit.
    with a red-handed catcher smitten
    by his own adult reasons,
    his grub wormhole full
    with a gravely germinal avalanche
    before a worn neck-lace.
    with jeweler’s pliers, bent-nosed
    and olfactory-less workers stringing
    the line, an efficient cold metal spine
    strumming gemmed tones as you
    thread me through

  39. Marie Elena

    An Unlucky Poem
    (with apologies from your creator)

    You could have been an Ari,
    A Moskowitz, or Lee,
    An Ina, Claudsy, Kemp, or Hed,
    JLynn, or PSC,
    Uneven Steven, JanetRuth,
    A Shlensky, Kreider, Graham, Grove,
    A Clarken or a De,
    You could have been a Kolp, a Misk,
    A Neas or Marjory,
    A Domino, a Davidson,
    A Parsons, Omavi,
    An Ingraham or a Carnahan,
    A Khara House, a Passionate,
    Or Pearly PKP.
    You could have been a Maxie2,
    A Jordan, or Yolee,
    A Powerunit, Jaywig,
    Lionmother, Rosemary,
    Just a Lynn, a Walraven,
    A Rob or Stewart, C.,
    A Yockel, Shann, a TezfromOz,
    A Marcia or Rob(by) 
    A Margot, Christod, Caramanna,
    Mansfield, or Sally,
    A Carolyn, a Bayles, a Paoos,
    Fitzgerald, or Posey.
    You could have been a hurtin-heart,
    Rosangela, Bonee,
    One Deringer, JRSimmang,
    A Windham, or Food-ee,
    A Sharon, Hannah, Lana, Voit,
    Sarite, or Jannalee,
    What’eretheyaint, or castejon,
    Miss R, Nimue, Deedee,
    Competitive, McNulty, Earl,
    A Kendall, or maggzee.
    You could have been a Posmic,
    Mystic, Dare, Andrea B,
    A Domino, a Benjamin,
    A Peters, or drwasy,
    A dandelionwine, an Eel,
    A Hager, an Angie,
    An Anders Byland, Ber, or Lockard,
    (pick up 7), Niedt, Arike,
    Beth Rodgers, Traci-y.
    You could have been a Marian,
    Patricia, LoriP,
    A Joseph, Willy, abasso,
    Amelia or Cindi,
    A Brewer, Casey, Kelly, Young
    Or born Wojtanikly,
    But darn the luck, my little poem,
    That you were penned by me!

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Excellent, Marie! Great minds think alike (well, your great mind and my…never mind), but you actually did your homework and got everybody in there. And I didn’t die in this one! Hooray! (thanks for including me :) )

  40. Joseph Harker

    Ended up with two. Neither one of them is particularly unlucky, I guess? Maybe if you look really hard. :P


    A plaintive boy in a white T-shirt shows off his arms as he
    the wrench and uncaps the squat beast–

    which extends a sea-colored giraffe tongue
    into Sixteenth Street:

    tasting the unsuspecting debris,
    carrying crushed plastic bottles and cigarette packs,
    maneuvering around the tires of chariot traffic
    and the sensibility of the drivers,
    gazing up at the shifting trees tangled with grey
    bags tattered in their branches from the winter,
    scooping up the protesting petals they’ve scattered,
    intoxicating itself with puddles of dog piss,
    chewing up the newsprint, erasing our brief histories,
    frothing at the mouths of storm drains in soft white

    surely there must have been some motivation,
    pressure regulation
    or the phantom threat of a flood–
    but Sixteenth Street has become a Venetian promenade,
    sharp-edged by the black lines of asphalt
    licked clean,
    reborn with reservoir water–

    and though the bystanders may hate wet shoes, they– now,
    even that plaintive boy–
    are slowly unknotting their smiles.

    Notes for Young Writers

    She sits cross-legged on the sidewalk, with a sign
    announcing homeless writer: every little bit helps!,
    and I am on my way from one place to another, but
    wanting nothing more than to stop for a while,

    interrupt her while she fills a small notebook
    with line after meticulous line and say, I could be you:
    we aren’t so different in age, after all, we are here
    dreaming our way into existence, being in this city

    where dreams flow easy from the tip of a ballpoint pen–
    but then, remembering my wallet’s in the office,
    I keep going; and her face presses into the afternoon
    until it can no longer be ignored; so I think of what to say,

    maybe a note expressing my wish that I could help
    with more than two measly dollars, maybe saying,
    we’ve all done things we’re not proud of for our Art
    though in the end, I just settle for printing “Fern Hill”,

    folding it in sixths around all the green I’m carrying:
    I watch the clock until I can flee from this luxury,
    hoping that some of my fortune will hide in these
    sharp creases and pass along– but already, so soon,

    she’s gone, in search of some sunnier street; now
    one poem weighs heavy in my pocket and this one
    broods in my head, tied up with sideswiped chances,
    unsure which of us missed out on this one the most.

  41. eljulia

    i’ve been doing these alone at home, calling it “PAD Therapy,” since my sister died unexpectedly last month. So here i go, daring to be vulnerable….

    WE TWO.
    You were gone sooner than I meant for you to be
    before I was done needing you
    before I got to laugh with you chat with you
    about your day my day
    about nothing really–

    you were gone sooner than I thought you’d be
    still young (ish) I’m still young (ish)
    both still learning to kill the dragons of our youth
    guess I’ll keep trying
    trying to find peace–
    peace was too hard to find in our childhood
    but we both kept looking
    escaping/struggling each in our own way
    as we both came back
    into our sister-bond

    where you loved me harder than those others
    who were meant to love
    whose job was to protect us and keep us safe
    no safety in that house
    not even in your room–

    our bodies carried memories of the secrets
    in that place called “home”
    more of a battlefield/warzone really
    you straight to the fray,
    me hiding in the closet—

    grown-ups, we tried to help each other learn
    to repair the deep holes
    left behind from the bombing in childhood
    you, to let your guard down
    me, to put mine up—

    and I think we’d made some movement forward
    but you’re at peace now
    the peace surpassing my understanding
    and I’m the unlucky one
    left without you.

  42. Miss R.

    A True Story

    “Write an unlucky poem,”
    The man said. I tried, but
    It was a painful process,
    Because at that moment
    My computer froze up
    And had a good laugh
    At my expense.

  43. drwasy

    On the street
    before me a man
    dragged his right leg
    behind, a blue plastic
    bag banged against
    his thigh, the bottle
    of malt sloshed
    against his jaw
    slack as the waist
    of his jeans
    sunk lower
    and lower
    with each lurch
    more chalk-dusted
    buttock revealed
    I did not want to look
    but could not help
    myself or him,
    or the shame of it all

    Peace, LindaS-W

  44. omavi

    “… Living Under A Falling Sun”

    Found the gold
    Nurtured it and it grew
    So big and so bold
    So strong did this little glimmer
    Of hope and perseverance grow
    So far the fall
    Goosebumps rise as ground grows cold
    Struggling and fighting and winning
    Thinking once again that
    This light is finally mine
    Watching it shine and reaching up
    Only to find the ceiling lowered
    Brittle ladder rungs shatter
    Stalled again is the climb
    Lost in the paradox
    Perpetually sinking or maybe the horizon
    Just continues to rise and rise
    Every one step forwards leads to three behind
    Only tears are the comfort
    Only taste on the tongue
    Is the bitter realization that platinum stars
    Are filled with a salty brine

  45. Kendall A. Bell

    Unfortunate DNA

    It is what keeps me saturated in
    SPF 45 sunblock on warm days spent
    walking the bustling, shore boardwalk,
    the sun’s power heating my pale, pale skin.

    It is responsible for the moles that
    dot the landscape of my face, that
    could connect, like destinations on a
    map, if you were to draw a line from
    the left, to the middle, to the right.

    It is what makes me prone to mild eczema
    on my legs, covers my shoulders,
    arms and back with freckles.

    It is what could make me susceptible to
    prostate cancer, like my father had to
    endure in his sixties.

    It is the reason why I can never find a
    single pair of shoes at DSW, on the main
    floor or the clearance section, that will
    house these oddball, mammoth feet.

  46. alotus_poetry

    Year of the Ox

    I really should say that my luck
    ran out the door, but that would mean
    that you wouldn’t believe me, dismissing it
    like any other cliche. But today, the rain
    puddles just didn’t flow right. They didn’t
    wrap along the street curbs but found sidewalk
    and road cracks to be more comfortable.
    They went over my calves, muddying
    my newly polished shoes, and I was late
    for an important meeting with the directors,
    who looked all the same: bald, bored
    and much too bold in personality while I tried
    not to hurl in front of the mic talking about
    technological strategies of some hypothetical future.
    Dinner with the girlfriend meant breaking up
    over a fortune cookie when she repeated what I said,
    “You could do better” when she asked if
    I love her. I meant to say that
    I didn’t hear her question at first,
    but was busy eating the last cookie crumbs
    while reading out loud what the fortune had said.
    Instead, she whacked me with her Louis Vuitton bag,
    spilled her glass of martini on my lap, stuck
    chopsticks straight up in my bowl,
    and stalked out the door, leaving me
    with some guy’s phone number whom I thought
    was her business consultant who turned out
    to be a sleazy guy she’s been seeing
    on the side. I’m happy I didn’t
    propose to her tonight as I’m sitting
    here with a 1.5 carat princess-cut diamond ring
    upset that I’m not getting laid tonight.
    Oh well, here’s to you, kid.


  47. JRSimmang

    Luck for the Luckless

    It was that kind of day again.
    The bed, usually soft and warm,
    shook me out on the wrong side.
    I stumbled, shook, struggled to find the alarm clock.
    Usually, my right foot touches the berber first.
    Today, my left led a lighted charge to my phone,
    9 minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off.
    I have nothing to show but a broken night stand.
    My shower, raining ice, and coffee cold.

    Traffic, need I say more.
    I three leaf clover stuck to my shoe,
    glued with the hours old excrement of
    that stupid shi tzu.

    My boss told me to pack my desk
    (it fit in a box)
    and my tires- flat.
    Things were surely to look up.

    The mechanics were late,
    short and ineloquent,
    my fender bent.

    My dinner was wrong,
    that’s what I get for pulling through,
    and when all was finally at the end,
    the sunset.

  48. Arrvada


    I broke a mirror
    Spilled the salt
    Knocked on wood and prayed
    Swerved to avoid the cat
    Hit a ladder and got a flat
    Stood in the rain and cried
    When I saw my spare was spent
    Cursed the fates, cursed my luck
    Heard the sound of a pickup truck
    Turned around not sure what to expect
    Fell in love because of a cat

  49. J.lynn Sheridan

    My absolutely positively new favorite word.


    My toes are too crampy to hold
    a pencil today, my eyes can’t smile
    a beat, the sun is going up at dusk—

    It’s a widdershins kind of day-

    My big old head is screwed on back-
    wards, I only see the hind end of me,
    my head is too wobbly with cold fever
    to drink one single shot of simile.

    It’s a widdershins kind of day-
    the thirteenth time this year.
    I would get up and give a cheer
    but my lips can’t hear a thing.

    What a lucky gal I am today on
    this thirteenth day of luck.

    No rhymes, no beat, no fluff, no form,
    just a widdershins, widdernshins
    upon my chinnerchins
    (cuz one widdeshins isn’t enough)
    on this widdershins . . .

    . . . oh, this shinwidders
    . . . this ddinshidders,

    on this widdershinners kind of day.

  50. Bruce Niedt

    I just realized I turned around Robert’s prompt – my poem is more about being lucky. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a ghazal. So here is a short ghazal about luck.


    Why should the date and day of the week dictate
    whether or not our day will be full of poor luck?

    So many talismans – the broken mirror, the ladder,
    the crossing black cat, the rabbit’s foot we rub for luck.

    Being in the right place at the right time – or
    the wrong place at the wrong time –makes your luck.

    Not getting on the Titanic or Buddy Holly’s plane;
    Being the one millionth customer – that is sure luck.

    Meeting you the way I did – in the dorm lounge
    that September day – I couldn’t have asked for more luck.

  51. maggzee

    Unlucky Choices

    I fell hard that day at the big rodeo
    That stubble, steely eyes and big jaw
    But your wicked black hat set my heart aglow
    I’m a sucker for a handsome outlaw

    We were drinking and dancing full throttle
    Swinging parties in every new town
    Drank the booze, ate the worm, threw the bottle
    Now some little girl wants to settle you down

    You broke my heart but the joke is on you
    I gave you more than it’s your right to take
    Your dog will be gone and your red pickup too
    I’m leaving with a biker named Snake

    Hard living, hard loving, that’s my life
    But call me if you ever leave your wife

  52. Sara McNulty

    Love yours, Robert. Here’s mine:

    April 13, 2012 – Day 13
    Write an unlucky poem

    Oh What A World (parallelogram De Crystalline)

    I’ve got her
    and her dog, locked up tight,
    no escape, slayers of my sister.

    Poppy fields failed
    to fell her; that Glynda,
    Miss sugar-voiced Good Witch, waved her wand.

    Now sand grains
    spill, measure moments left.
    After death, those ruby slippers are mine.

    What’s this then?
    Greedy girl wields bucket,
    blasts me with water. Help! I’m melting.

  53. carolynmallory

    Lucky I was home

    Sitting at the window
    watching the outside
    world, when a thud
    surprises me. A small
    bird tumbles to
    the ground.

    I rush to have
    a look, and the wee
    fellow is face down,
    wings spread
    in the snow.

    Gently, I carry
    him into the house
    to rest. He is stunned
    but breathing.

    I hold him close to
    my heart and wish
    him back to health.

    In short order, he
    is ready to fly.

  54. cstewart


    Is a clumsy word.
    It portends disaster,
    And trips on its syllables,
    Leading you to change,
    Over and over to use it.
    I guess it was an unlucky
    Choice of words.

  55. Imaginalchemy

    I’m mostly only continuing this because I said I would…this is tied to three previous poems I posted the last three days (I recap the basic storyline in this poem so no one needs to go back and look at the others) as a semi-challenge to myself to write five poems in a continuous storyline. And once again, Thank you to everyone for all your comments about the “Battle of the WD Poets” poem earlier today :)

    CHAPTER FOUR—The Price of Misfortune

    “DO NOT GO FURTHER!” cried the bird
    As it circled high above, being a hassle
    While down below a girl with plum-blossom hair
    And a fiery-eyed sprite walked up to the castle.
    “I know you two: Plum, the girl born a tree
    Who uprooted herself in the deep wood.
    And the fire-eater, the sprite who craves flame
    And is usually up to no good.
    You have come all this way to see Her Majesty
    About the forest’s burning, but I warn you, turn back!
    You will find no mercy or compassion here,
    You will only end up as Her Majesty’s snack!”

    “Who are you, little bird?” asked Plum,
    “How do you know us? Why are you here?
    How do you know Her Majesty’s cruelty?
    Why do you instill us with such fear?”

    “I’m the Karmaburra, a keeper of universal balance.
    I once belonged to Her Majesty, happily serving
    When she was once known as the Fortune Queen
    And granted good and bad luck to those deserving.
    But then she grew selfish, hoarding all good fortune
    For herself, and only giving her subjects bad.
    She became rich and powerful, the people poor and weak
    I tell you, I was tired of us being had!
    So I decided to steal away her luck powers
    But such magic is tied to a person’s soul,
    So while she slept, I plucked out her soul-seed
    And I escaped before she knew what I stole.
    I dropped the seed in the deep ancient wood,
    Hoping it might be lost from her forever.
    But one day I flew over the spot, and saw
    A plum tree was growing, and it was quite clever,
    For it learned to grow feet and walked away,
    And now it is standing here before me today.”

    “So Her Majesty is burning down the forest,
    Looking for her soul in the soil, which is me?”
    Plum was quite frightened, but stood straight and tall,
    And said, “Let me in to see Her Majesty.”

    “So you ARE quite dumb,” said the fire-eater.
    “Did you hear the bird? About the snack?
    She wants her soul-seed, which is within you,
    She’ll devour you if you don’t turn back.”

    “Perhaps it is destined, or just my ill luck,
    But I can’t let the old trees suffer and die in flame.
    Maybe there is something I can do to make things right,
    I’m not afraid of Her Majesty, if we are one in the same.”

    So Plum thanked the Karmaburra for his warning,
    Thanked the fire-eater for guiding her there,
    And then entered the place of Her Majesty,
    To face whatever fate awaited her in this lair.

  56. Domino

    Unlucky Me

    Born Friday the thirteenth
    Just what could be worse?
    Dad was a mortician,
    rode home in a hearse.

    Mom was a worrier
    She watched over me
    with bell book and candle,
    esprit, and weak tea.

    My childhood? A strange one.
    I thought I was cursed.
    But it wasn’t that long
    ere my doubts had reversed.

    See, what always happened
    would look just like trouble
    But when the dust settled
    I’d still stand (in the rubble).

    And those all around me
    thought I was the greatest.
    and all hung around me,
    newest to latest.

    So I learned to worry
    about all my friends.
    Because they seemed destined
    to meet untimely ends.

    And so I spend my life
    watching o’er theirs
    (They think I’m just kindly
    and someone who cares.)

    But I’ll always worry
    that someday I’ll be
    unable to stop something,
    that I’ll be absentee.

    So I keep on working
    and trying my best
    just saving my friends
    from bad luck’s bequest.

    Diana Terrill Clark

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Huh, so it can be unlucky to be lucky (kind of like winning the lottery…not good when all your relatives and friends come knocking on your door looking for a share). A lovely poem from a compassionate heart.

  57. Sharon

    No Such Thing

    The luck of the draw
    Sticks in my craw.

    Luck’s not bad
    Or good to be had,
    A mere quirk of fate
    Now that I’d hate!

    Unlucky for me
    May be lucky for thee.

    Don’t tell me of loss
    Life gave you a toss,
    Get on your feet
    And be upbeat!

  58. posmic


    My father wanted to name me Daphne.
    My mother laughed at him, said, “No way.”

    I was given, instead, an unlucky name, one
    that was years too old for me and as made-up

    as that bleached-blonde starlet who died
    naked in her bed. Somehow, too, it was the

    name of everyone’s favorite aunt or grandma
    or school librarian, and so it is equal parts

    fishnet stocking and rolled-down knee-high,
    a bad fit for me, either way. I inhabit my name

    but do not love it. How unlucky, too, that I
    have no nickname, though some friends tried

    to invent one for me, and I tried to rename
    myself in college, something shorter, but it

    just wouldn’t stick. My name clings to me
    like an unctuous perfume, like a whiff of

    sex among forgotten stacks, in a dark and
    quiet corner in the library of my mind.

  59. Mystical-Poet


    prancing across roof
    air powered equalizer
    unlucky squirrel

    peanut buttered nut
    can not resist temptation
    rat trap successful

    a lifetime slighted
    when dreams go down faster than
    a crooked boxer

  60. Beth Rodgers

    It happens
    That time stands still
    When bad news looms.

    Yet when you wish
    For a moment longer
    A brief chance to gather your thoughts
    Cherish the love and magic of good times
    Gain a semblance of continuity
    The world seems to pass by.

    A flurry of words
    And condescension that you could
    Have possibly had the time to cherish
    The way life is right then and there
    Is lost
    Only to be found when you wait on life
    To bring you more goodness
    Which will follow the same cycle
    Never allowing a sense of complete
    And utter

  61. ceeess

    13 is Not My Unlucky Number

    You say Friday the 13th and spooky
    in the same sentence. You say unlucky.
    I say Friday the 13th and birthday.
    Being born on the 13th day has its own burdens.

    To see ill luck upon my special day
    would be an unlucky omen, oxymoron.
    Bad luck cancelling good? Imagine
    what kind of birthday wishes I might
    choose, blowing out candles in an ill wind.

    I always counter the bad luck quotes.
    My lucky number is often 13.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 13, 2012

  62. Buddah Moskowitz

    Just In Case

    I avoid walking
    under ladders
    and will skid
    out of the path
    of a black cat.

    I knock on wood
    and scratch
    the interior ceiling
    of any car I’m in
    when going through a
    yellow light.

    If the car radio
    is playing “Respect”
    by Aretha Franklin
    I shut it off
    because it was playing
    when I was in
    that car crash
    back in 1985.

    I don’t have
    lucky lotto numbers,
    but I do have
    a lucky number –
    anything that isn’t

    If I spill the salt
    I sweep it up and
    throw it
    over my shoulder

    and I always pick
    my wife’s handbag
    up off the floor,
    so she’ll never be poor.

    I always take tests
    with freshly sharpened pencils
    so I am using pencil points
    that never made
    an error.

    And whenever
    I have to do a
    Power Point presentation
    for the
    Board of Trustees,

    I attach and it send
    to 3 different
    email accounts

    always with the memo line
    JIC (Just In Case),

    and bring the presentation
    on two separate
    flash drives.

    And every Friday
    I wish my wife
    “Happy Anniversary”
    mostly out of love
    and a little bit
    out of fear
    of what’ll happen if
    I forget,

    you can’t be
    too careful.

  63. claudsy

    Unlucky in Love: Poor Male

    There she is, so coy
    Delicate in black negligée,
    Waiting for my attentions.
    Whisper soft, I approach

    Her boudoir, quick stepping
    To show off my prowess.
    We meet, ah, sweet surrender.
    Wait! Not yet! Too late.

    Her juices leave me dying.
    For her love, her magnificence,
    I give myself to her, twitching,
    A sacrifice to her hourglass self.

    © Claudette J. Young 2012

  64. dandelionwine

    Friday the 13th Eve
    (for Chief Michael Maloney)

    The shot turns live
    from the newsdesk
    to that dark NH street,
    the one whose name
    they keep repeating
    with the crooked sign
    strobing blue. The
    reporter isn’t ready–
    how could he be?
    The man that went
    down with the four
    others isn’t there.
    The reporter stands
    alone, clutches
    his microphone
    as one sure thing
    in the night, averting
    eyes from the camera,
    but we hear it in his
    voice. He knew the
    guy. Police chief,
    twelve years with the
    town, go-to man for
    local breaking stories,
    just eight days from
    retirement. On the spot,
    the reporter pieces
    the facts together as
    best he can, because
    the chief’s no longer
    taking interviews.

  65. claudsy

    My first for the day. Robert, you did it again.

    On This Day

    Watch where you step,
    Your mother’s involved.
    Beware the ladder’s tunnel,
    The feline noir’s crossing.
    Never mention the Scottish play
    Or purse your lips on stage.
    Who’d’ve thought soap
    And tub would do me in?

    © Claudette J. Young

  66. DanielAri


    and just last night, Alice and I were walking home from
    Fat Apple’s, talking about buying Hacienda Palomino,
    Michael Jackson’s estate in Las Vegas, rather affordable
    at four mil, living there during the sweet spring and fall
    times and the rest of the year, leaving it in the care of all
    our artist friends, giving ten or a dozen of them the space
    to create work and live, an artist colony, a School, right
    there beside the casinos, but always looking northward
    toward Red Rock, so much more majestic. “You could
    sell some of your paintings to raise the millions,” I said,
    “and I could sell some hot poems.” This made us laugh.
    We’re done with all that trickery and nightmare knotting.
    We keep making our work for love and nothing, living
    among neighbors and waking ourselves up from programs
    about what’s good luck and what’s bad. We chose what
    we chose and, remaining in love, we walk home full-
    bellied, hand-in-hand—and look—laughing all the way.


  67. Ber

    Luck or is it

    We are the lucky nation
    Or so it is said
    We hold the pots of gold
    And the lucky clover beds

    The leprechauns, the stories
    The blarney stone it cures
    All of those unsightly sores
    Hundreds come to kiss it or rub it with their skin
    Others come to drink the Guinness, the whiskey and the gin

    We hold stories of ghosts and fantasy
    Of headless horsemen and banshee
    Of dead working men there be
    The fields they spell out wonders
    And tales of times gone by

    Afraid to wonder down them
    The truth of who haunts them and why?
    The rivers that run through them and portals of time gone by
    Don’t read the cards of life
    For who knows what you get
    Don’t let the ace of spades come up
    It is your biggest threat

    How lucky you are
    It all depends on you
    Spend time worrying about it
    Can be easy to do
    This day do the lotto
    To see what will be

    And if you’re lucky enough
    The leprechauns luck may pass
    It’s shining hand over you
    But is it luck you need
    Or is walking under the ladder
    A true tale indeed
    So as the day passes wonder and watch out
    For the black cat that passes
    Don’t forget to wish him luck

  68. Catherine Lee

    Okay people, get out your crackers because I’m about to serve up some cheese. :)

    St. Patrick’s Day (A most unfortunate Tanka)

    I can’t get lucky
    A ginger with a green beer
    The night should be mine
    But the ladies don’t care that
    I’m magically delicious

  69. Michael Grove

    One in a Thousand

    He went to the left
    while the ball bounced right.
    The black cat crossed his path
    on a dark and lonely night.

    He held the winning hand
    until the river card was turned.
    He trusted everyone
    and repeatedly got burned.

    He didn’t look both ways
    before he crossed the street.
    He never knew of the poison,
    he was about to eat.

    Maybe one in a thousand
    the undertaker said.
    Nine hundred ninety-nine
    don’t end up dead.

    By Michael Grove

  70. RJ Clarken

    Is There Anymore?

    I thought I saw a shooting star:
    it was a baseball; trashed my car.
    “Why me?” I cried – and then I swore.
    I wondered: is there anymore?

    I plucked a penny off the street.
    I thought, ‘Good luck will follow. Sweet!’
    It was on tails: bad luck in store.
    I wondered: is there anymore?

    A flock of birds flew overhead.
    That’s good luck, right? Uh uh. Instead
    those birds rained droppings by the score.
    I wondered: is there anymore?

    But then, I told myself, “Just quit!
    You’re asking ‘tempting’ questions. It
    cannot end well. You can be sure,
    that if you ask, there will be more.”


  71. Marianv

    A Fisherman’s Paradise (Delayed)

    A shift in the wind
    West to north-west
    blue waters tipped with white caps
    A choppy bay
    And rougher lake.

    Listen to the fishermen
    grumbling over their breakfast coffee.
    Their promised week-end of fishing
    already one day lost.

  72. Catherine Lee

    Unlucky Day

    We never talk about it, that day of shatterings
    In the hospital when grandma’s long goodbye
    Lifted in a momentary frenzy of truth,
    As if the bellows of her soul could not sustain
    The heaviness of silent years, the friction of life
    Meeting death inside her mind forcing breathe
    To form into words never spoken.

    Her fractious lucidity broke through
    The soil of her mind to splinter family trees.
    She spoke of a secret day when he came
    Across the Pacific in his wrinkled uniform
    To be all that he could be, but you said no
    In a language he didn’t hear, screamed it
    For your husband and your sons.

    Our homogeneous blood diluted in a day,
    Answering the question-mark hook
    That always snagged the back of my mind,
    Explaining the lingering pain of two generations,
    The lightness of my hair that should have been black
    As the coal tears smudged beneath your eyes,
    Black as the heart of a man I hate, but yearn to know.
    I’ll never know.

  73. De Jackson

    Luck Beggar

    My four-leaf clover’s broken.
    My dandelion’s blown.
    My horseshoe got turned upsidedown
    and now the luck is gone.
    My rabbit’s foot is still attached.
    My bracelet’s lost its charms.
    My candles have all burned out
    and my stars are spilled too far.
    My Magic 8 Ball simply said,
    “Ask me again tomorrow.”
    Does anybody out there have
    some luck that I could borrow?

  74. taylor graham


    If you end up with the very last pup
    of the litter, are you unlucky?

    The one who couldn’t find a home,
    they called her defective – is she unlucky?

    If you think you see something special
    in her, are you deluded, or unlucky?

    It’s No! Leave the cat alone! Don’t chew
    on that! Is she untrained or unlucky?

    And will she finally settle down
    to be a good dog? Are you wise, or lucky?

  75. barbara_y

    it was a month of thirteen fridays
    and every one of them fell on thirteen
    there were red imps out on the street
    with poison pitchforks, and the heat broke
    weather records like cheap mirrors. more
    people were out of work than had a job to go to,
    and the lucky, lucky, lucky
    had three part-time positions doing the work of two.
    the moon was always black
    and tribulation rained on the world
    brown recluse spiders, bedbugs, ticks,
    antibiotic resistant staph infections
    war and famine and contaminated water
    too many cars and the end in sight for oil and gas.

    it was a month of thirteen fridays
    and every one of them fell on thirteen
    everywhere you looked was meanness
    kicking stabbing murder rape scamming people
    of their last salvaged dollars, killing children
    so they won’t one day grow up
    and look a cross-eyed look.
    and the earth was shaking cracks across its back
    realizing it would someday die.

    and the legislators decided
    to do away with all this
    bad luck.
    what will we do? they asked each other.
    what will we do? what will we do?

    they put their feet on the table
    and thought about it that way
    then they put their feet down.

    they turned their chairs around
    and straddled the backs
    and thought about it that way
    then they turned them back.

    ate a sandwich took a nap took
    something for that headache, and agreed
    to redefining bad as good and making it a crime
    to question their decision or suggest
    what came to pass was anything
    but how things ought to be.
    so be it said upon this day
    from now on out all luck is good luck
    all fridays are the thirteenth
    and every friday
    is Hunky-Dory Day.

  76. Margot Suydam

    Unlucky Traveling Ghazal

    An abandoned pond off the highway
    breeds unlucky
    As morning sun gleams on scum and naked stalk
    For the unlucky

    Below driest air, engines stalled on tracks
    run unlucky
    As long winged hawks circle and prey on sacred alms
    For the unlucky

    Bumper to bumper in traffic, I wrap
    myself unlucky
    As FM radio wails me weary in top 40 ballad pop
    For the unlucky

  77. De Jackson

    Non Bon

    Your ship came in today
            you say,
    Your voyage begins
            without delay.

    I saw the deck,
    I smell the sea.

    Lucky you.
                                 Unlucky me.

  78. Jaywig

    Day 13 – unlucky

    1. that bloated kangaroo
    beside the freeway
    victim of dusk and speeding
    2. the white cat stretched
    taut on skinny branches
    sent flying by irate
    3. passionfruit vine I
    continue to pull off
    the bushes it uses
    for life support
    4. the stinky-bug nursery
    disturbed when compost bin lid
    is lifted
    5. the foxtail bush
    overwhelmed by rampant
    grevillea growth
    6. old webs and sentinel
    spiders I sweep
    from eaves
    7. the magpie that just had to
    grab one more morsel
    off the tarred road
    and became carrion
    8. the fox that tried to
    cross the road lit by
    9. the multitudes of children
    in the Congo catching
    10. people born on islands
    being swallowed by the sea
    11. my favourite footy team
    beaten tonight
    12. women and children
    sold and stolen
    for sex
    13. the number thirteen

  79. Ber

    Should of stayed in Bed

    If luck was something to be had
    I no this day will turn out bad
    For its Friday the 13th you see
    It is never that good for me

    I wake up and bang my head
    Off the knob on the bed
    As my feet hit the floor
    He lets out a snore
    The noise it makes me jump of my skin

    He turns around happy
    Smiling he grins
    I look at him with one of my looks
    His eyes closed tight
    Together like hooks

    As I look to myself in the mirror
    I feel like a dog’s dinner
    Washing my face to refresh my mind
    Oh no here it comes
    I pull down the blind

    Stepping my way down the stairs
    Feeling the nerves the hairs on my neck
    What will happen now?
    I proclaim
    It’s all looking good
    When bang goes the door
    I feel myself jump
    A mile off the floor

    On I go everything is going fine
    Until I put the washing on the line
    Then snap it goes
    Its all on the ground
    The dog is rolling around in it
    While I standing shouting at him
    Having a lunatic fit

    So I sit and sob at the table
    I try to gather myself
    What more can happen?
    He is still up in bed napping
    So as I attempt to join the outside world

    I walk along I am doing fine
    I am proud
    When out of no where as I turn to see
    A car drives by a massive puddle
    Drowning me
    I am wet, fed up
    Beyond despair
    My new hair do
    Is replaces with dirty curly hair

  80. PKP

    Tom “Luck-Of-The-Draw”

    He wandered through
    His life, from boyhood
    Picked last for every team
    holes sprung in candy filled
    pockets from a suddenly unsewn seam
    smilingly he wandered through
    boyhood to the dawning march of
    hapless years as a pimple sprouting teen
    packing on waddled poundage from tiny plated salads
    while all about him clear skinned youths ran pizza-stuffed sinewed lean
    His mother smiled kindly said it was nothing ” just the luck of the so-called draw”
    He tended to agree until at forty-four finally smiling at the altar
    His Maggie Bridey handcuffed, and carried as she nearly reached him, caught in the long arms of the law
    All this before the town assembled in their fineried shining best
    Tom Luck- Of -The -Draw stopped his gentle smiling, pulled a pearl handed gun pressed against his chest
    “I’m sorry ” he mouthed to his mother in her pale blue shantung suit sitting in first row
    Of course to no one but him the tepid misfired click came as no surprise to all there in the Tom-wayed know
    Yet, he turned, awakened – his life transformed as a suddenly inspired model of good natured resiliency
    Straightened back his shoulders, took one, then two steps forward, tripped on a camera wire he did not see
    And lurched onto the unforgiving paving stones – as an egg shell cracked his whacked hard hapless head
    Doc Williams, who into this world announced his birth so long ago, knelt to pronounce Tom stone cold dead

  81. De Jackson

    Of All the Luck

    I accidentally walked
    under a ladder on my
    way to your house to
    -day but then I found
    a penny (heads)and
    I’m quite sure mama
    always said they can
    -cel each other out. So
    here I am on my way
    to you with absolutel
    -ly no dumb luck at all.

    1. De Jackson

      Aaack. Pllllllt. “Of all the luck,” indeed. Typo. Here it is, corrected:

      Of All the Luck

      I accidentally walked
      under a ladder on my
      way to your house to
      -day but then I found
      a penny (heads) and
      I’m quite sure mama
      always said they can
      -cel each other out. So
      here I am on my way
      to you with absolute
      -ly no dumb luck at all.

  82. RJ Clarken

    Luck Defenestration

    “It is bad luck to fall out of a thirteenth story window on Friday.” ~American Proverb

    “I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?” ~Jean Cocteau

    I wish my team would win. (It won’t.)
    I wish you’d leave, but no you don’t.
    I wonder why those I abhor
    in final seconds, somehow score.

    I interviewed. A new career?
    Nope! Didn’t get the job, I hear.
    I wonder why those I abhor
    in final seconds, somehow score.

    Some get the guy or girl (or cat)
    but I get zilch. What’s up with that?
    I wonder why those I abhor
    in final seconds, somehow score.

    I’d be the one to rearrange
    the desk chairs on Titanic. Strange?
    Well, not for me. I’d do that chore
    but just for once, I’d like to score.


  83. Jane Shlensky

    Surviving Luck

    “Make your own luck”—
    we all remembered his saying,
    as he debunked black cats,
    ladders, rings around the moon,
    and Fridays landing on thirteen.
    We reminisced about how
    our worst decisions became
    comedies of errors and bright
    good fortune, if only we could
    survive them, then we dropped
    handfuls of soil into his grave,
    trying not to stumble on uneven
    ground back to our cars and
    lucky lives. Nobody wanted
    the recipe he used to make
    this last batch of luck.

  84. Nancy Posey


    Not one to admit her superstitions,
    she still circumvented ladders,
    shuddered at a black cat’s crossing,
    stockpiled four-leaf clovers,
    pressed inside the pages of her books,
    as if they might ward off disasters
    she had come to dread. Unexpected
    joy left her wary, waiting for sorrow
    to come in its wake. Each gift,
    she felt, left her more open to loss,
    until she found a love so true
    he taught her to see her own beauty
    reflected even in a broken mirror.

  85. cindishipley

    The heat beats down on the back of my
    head and salty perspiration from my
    upper lip drips into my mouth.
    I hug my son’s gun, I kiss it; hot
    hard steel, with the smell of
    strangely sweet oil.
    This tall and thick machine
    will guard my son. My grief
    is loud inside me. My son sighs in
    remorse for my sadness.

  86. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Well Mon brave, a serious amount of
    green was earnt yesterday and here we are at
    last. Lucky old me! Home opener weekend and the harpies
    out of town! Yep! the only unlucky people this weekend are
    Jimmy the Greek, the good people of Atlanta and those
    no-good As who are gonna get their butts kicked all the
    way back to Anaheim! I’m short and to the point this fine
    Friday 13th my Queens-dwelling friend as we need to get the
    dogs and beer in early. Pick ya up at 12 – my shout for the

    Yours turning round three times and spitting

    Ringo the Howler

  87. amelia louise

    Saw a penny,
    Picked it up,
    Got run over by a truck.
    Blew a dandelion for a wish.
    Ended up becoming a fish.
    Tried to wish upon a star.
    Now I’m behind bars.
    As luck would have it,
    I can’t find,
    A break of any kind!

  88. MiskMask


    A shower of salt
    thrown over my left shoulder
    Four tiny black paws
    A cat meows at my feet
    I don’t believe in bad luck

    A Tanka for the Poetic Form Challenge

  89. JanetRuth

    She had to admit
    this one had her stuck
    she’s not paraskevidekatriaphobic
    she just doesn’t believe in ‘luck’


    Finally she worked up the nerve to call…
    Buying the biggest ficus tree she could find
    she carried it up two flights of stairs
    to your apartment.
    The lady across the hall called ‘hey’
    Don’t you know? He moved…


    We all waited
    Breath baited
    This was the moment
    It was all about!
    The winner is…
    Lights flicker and fizz…
    and just like that
    the power went out


    There’s no hope in a rabbit’s foot
    or in number sevens
    and there’s no such thing as luck…
    I looked down as I spoke
    Wishing I wasn’t broke…
    …hey, look, I found a buck!


    Lucky for you
    I have a bad memory


    I remember too late
    what I forget…
    Now, I wish I could forget
    What I hate to remember…


    The money tree
    in our back-yard
    musta’ got frost-bitten
    and bitten hard


    For better of worse
    Be it blessed or cursed
    For the rest of your life
    I am your wife

    If it weren’t for bad luck
    We’d have no luck, you say
    Well babe, I plan to make you
    the happiest unlucky man today


  90. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Not strictly just about bad luck, but, well you’ll see why I had to write it….it’s been a funny old week!

    As Luck Would Have It

    The week has had more than its share
    of ups and downs
    of bad luck
    good luck
    and what the ____! luck

    Monday saw a prime teaching contract cancelled
    Monday saw a private client no longer able to take classes
    Monday saw the loss of a favourite tie-pin

    Tuesday saw the contract re-instated
    Tuesday saw a new client cancel this week’s class (her first!)

    Wednesday saw an empty classroom and a mind full of doubts
    Wednesday saw the car fail its annual road-worthiness test
    Wednesday saw the beloved tie-pin found again

    Thursday saw the outlay of too much cash to fix the car
    Thursday saw a narrow escape on a pedestrian crossing

    Friday saw the chance of a new stable client
    Friday saw the car pass its re-test
    Friday saw, with not an ounce of luck involved,
    the weekend just around the corner
    and not, as luck would have it, a minute too soon!


  91. LoriP

    Pattern Luck

    People have all kinds of superstitions
    about how it’s bad luck to change.
    Like athletes wearing the same underwear,
    we go about a routine we’ve developed,
    not because it makes sense
    but because it worked once.
    And you don’t want to mess with fate.
    But what if you do change?
    Would something terrible happen?
    Or would your life become a little more efficient
    and a little less dull?

  92. Andrew Kreider

    The one that got away

    ?y deqr ?qry Qnn,
    as luck zould hqve it
    I hqve procured the only
    typezriter here in Berlin
    to send you this ?essqge.

    I ?iss you so.
    You hqve bezitched ?y heqrt
    qnd hqve become ?y aueen qnd ?y ?use.
    Noz, zith qll the weql of ?y zqr? soul
    I qsk you hu?bly: Zill you ?qrry ?e…

    Qll ?y love, Qndrez

  93. RJ Clarken

    Who Cares?!

    “Some people are so fond of bad luck they run halfway to meet it.” ~Douglas William Jerrold

    If not for bad luck, I’d have none,
    since Karma makes her big end run
    around my hopes and dreams and prayers.
    My good luck fairy shrugs. “Who cares?!”

    A mirror breaking, comets, bats,
    the number thirteen, damned black cats,
    and daggers, empty rocking chairs…
    my good luck fairy nods. “Who cares?!”

    Inside my house, umbrellas go
    from closed to open, and although
    I take precautions, I despair.
    My good luck fairy laughs. “Who cares?!”

    I need an amulet to ward
    off stuff like moon eclipses, stored
    and waiting for me, like nightmares.
    My good luck fairy winks. “Who cares?!”


  94. Walt Wojtanik


    Hearts converge at a moment
    and yet the feeling is distant,
    despite instant connections.

    It reflects on the condition
    of the unconditional, merely
    a positional juxtapostion

    of spirits and soulful touches
    of imagined hands. It stands to reason,
    it would be more pleasing

    to be closerthanthisclose,
    but the most that can be hoped for
    is coping with the chasm of distance.

  95. emmajordan

    No Luck at All

    At 17 we dated,
    then we did not.
    Why, when I had never loved like that?
    We dated for a day at 24 or 25,
    a day I did not want.
    Sometimes I would get that rare visit
    or call,
    once a letter,
    but I rebuffed again and again.
    Then I married
    a man from church
    a man who was very attentive and had sparkling eyes.
    Fast forward 10 years.
    I went to the counselor at church
    in fear
    I cannot remember what I told her.
    She said she could not help
    I needed someone with more education
    more knowledge
    a therapist,
    Puzzled, I put that suggestion away.
    He would never allow that.
    Another 5 years
    I was frantic
    fear relentless
    panic all around.
    I found the therapist
    and went.
    She talked with me
    the children
    and interviewed him.
    Puzzling because it was
    not the kind of thing he would do
    No, there was never anything wrong
    with him.
    Always someone else’s fault
    at work
    at church
    the kids
    but most often mine.
    She talked with him for an hour
    a full hour
    then spoke with me the next week.
    He was a sick man she said,
    one who would never be well.
    Diagnosis sociopath.
    There was no hope for him
    and frighteningly,
    for me.
    We could divorce
    but I would never be free
    she said
    unless he found someone else
    to victimize
    or died.
    What kind of luck was this?
    I refused the only man I’d loved
    married a man I thought was good
    now trapped
    till death do us part.
    Trying planning
    to get away
    but never could work it out.
    He always watched so thoroughly
    it was creepy and
    I felt threatened.
    The man I loved at 17 found me.
    I had been searching for him, too,
    finally admitting to myself
    the love had never died
    He was married.
    Another blow to the head and heart.
    Luck? There is no such thing.
    A December death
    finding that man I’d married
    lived under
    been so afraid of
    for more than 20 years
    seated on the couch,
    an empty shell.
    I could not stop staring at the
    gray skin
    unseeing eyes
    fearing he would sit up
    and say
    it was all a joke.
    I stared through the police and paramedics
    wanting medicine bottles
    calling the morgue for me.
    They were so kind
    but did not understand.
    Thinking I was in shock
    they kept suggesting I go out of the room
    until they were finished.
    I went into the living room
    where the kids were wondering what happens next
    all of us finding it hard to believe
    it was over.
    Did my luck finally change?
    No, I decided.
    Luck is a myth.
    My mistakes and decisions
    and inability to act on my own
    a remnant of childhood,
    were the things responsible for the way
    my life was.
    No luck, nothing lucky.
    It just was what it was.
    Now, I was equipped by life
    to make strong decisions.
    Still fearful,
    yes, terribly afraid,
    learning to be free of his grip.
    I am going forward

    1. Imaginalchemy

      My goodness, this one left me with chills…but it is an interesting debate, if luck plays any part in the course of our lives or if everything we do stems from our decisions and actions alone. Very gripping, thought-provoking story

  96. PKP

    In the town of Luckless
    starcrossed lovers come to meet
    in paths of sudden streetcars
    pedestrians change routes to cross the street
    the Lotto machine lies in dusty disrepair
    in forty-two years not one winner wandered there
    it wasn’t always this way indeed began first as Fortunes’ Fame
    settled by unrushed gold seekers who smilingly tickled fate with such a name

  97. MiskMask


    On Friday the 13th she took every
    precaution. Avoiding
    black cats,
    cracked mirrors,
    and spilled salt
    was a tradition.
    All these ominous,
    fixations just gave her
    heart palpitations.
    The poor fearful girl
    was paraskavedekatriaphobic,
    although goodness knows
    she’d never tried
    to pronounce it.

  98. Hannah


    Secretly etched
    above the clouds,
    Hebraic symbols glow
    stars grow
    and splatter indelibly
    the darkened canvas of sky.
    Do I feel a calling,
    a drawing,
    a deep inner longing?
    “Yes,” is my reply,
    from before time,
    pulling me
    forever forward.
    Thought sifting,
    I’ve found
    that each “unlucky”
    has just been an
    “un”-der lying
    learning moment
    of every lucky day;
    with purpose,
    bursting stars
    scripted in the silk of sky.

    © H.G. @ P.A. 4/13/12

      1. Hannah

        Thank you, Jaywig! I’ve decided to change that to “silken sky,” on my blog and found an amazing image to go with this, by “chance,” on photobucket! Such fun, playing at words!

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Ah, the “un”-derlying hope that accompanies misfortune…maybe there is more to the larger picture than the small moments of bad luck. This is gorgeous writing, Hannah

  99. PKP

    A Family Affair

    They never watched a single number
    roll to the upside right
    they never picked the fellow with
    the fists to win the fight
    they surrendered looking
    in fields for four-leafed happy clover
    and when a penny sparkled
    up for them the head side would be over
    each man, each woman, child even
    Donald the family coddled bandannaed shot down duck
    fell uncannily consistently persistent on the offside of all luck

    1. Imaginalchemy

      I love the line “Donald the family coddled bandannaed shot down duck,” it’s as much fun to say aloud as to read. Let’s hope this family is due for some good luck soon :)

  100. Imaginalchemy

    “The Brigade of the WD Poets; or An Ode to the PAD”

    The Poets all awoke with the misfortune to find
    The poems were all gone! Not one rhyme in their minds!
    A chicken-scratched note, to highlight their bad luck,
    Stated, “All of your poetry I have gleefully plucked!
    If you want it back, you’ll have to come and get me!”
    And it was signed by that irritating Imaginalchemy.

    So off they all went, hell-bent to reclaim
    Their good fortune and poetry to immortalize their names.
    By sea, the siren captains Michelle Hed, Just Lynne and Khara
    Steered the vessels the Ina, the Hannah, and the Marie Elena
    Followed by the whale-riders JanetRuth and PKP,
    Pulling behind them water skiiers Marjory MT and Catherine Lee.

    A thundering of hooves from a horse-riding assault
    Came Robert Brewer, Jaywing, PowerUnit, and Walt.
    Benjamin Thomas and Ber flew hijacked spaceships
    Commandeered by Iain Douglas Kemp and Buddha Moskowitz

    Then came an array of feathered hang-gliders
    With Claudsy, Nimue, and Shannon Lockard as riders
    Uneven Steven and De Jackson astride a pterodactyl
    On Pegasus-back came Emmajordan and PassionateQuill
    And J. Lynne Sheridan and Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Commanded a power-punching kangaroo parade
    To knock down the walls of Imaginalchemy’s haven
    Helped by iron-plated rhinos led by Jerry Walraven
    Earl Parsons, Laurie Kolp, Foodpoet and Sarite
    Summoned fire to rain down from the air to smite

    In legion stormed the rest: Maxie2 and Yolee,
    PCS in CT, RJ Clarken and Nancy Posey,
    Anders Bylund, Arike, Ely the eel and Bonnee,
    MiskMask, Domino, Posmic and Lady Maggie
    And all the other poets (whose names I didn’t say,
    But if I listed everyone, it would take all day)
    At the end of this determined march into Hell
    On Oliphants tramped Michael Grove and Mystical-Poet Randy Bell

    Down came the doors, the frames and the walls
    “We’ve come for our poetry!” the Poets all called.
    They expected a battle, but found instead
    That Imaginalchemy was, unluckily for the jerk, dead.

    Again a note on the prone corpse’s back
    Said, “So sorry you mounted a pointless attack,
    But all of this drama must now be stopping,
    For I have been crushed under all the name-dropping.”

    1. Imaginalchemy

      This is my small way of saying thank you to everyone here for indulging my writing and making all the nice comments…btw, I know it’s Jaywig, I do! I don’t know how that extra “n” snuck in there! I’m sorry for typos.
      Glad you all enjoy the poem :)

    2. PKP

      Hope I am not stopped by the “posting too quickly” police….


  101. just Lynne

    at a Christian concert downtown
    they passed out
    fliers about a Christian music fest
    a few hours away
    took the flier
    stood in line for a hot pretzel

    a man
    before me in line
    talking up the festival
    notices my flier
    asks me if I’ll go

    nonchalant reply
    “no, I always go to the big one
    I figure if you’re going to go
    to a music festival
    you might as well go to the best one
    the biggest festival in the country
    I always go there”

    him undaunted
    “but this one’s only a few hours away
    great bands
    nearly as big as the other
    as many days and nearly as popular
    15,000 fans is nothing to sneeze at”
    opens the flier to wow me
    with the schedule

    I look down, unimpressed
    “i might go down for one night.
    i like Anberlin”

    he tells me
    he’s the director of the festival
    I try to hold back the pink
    forming on my cheeks

    but I won’t back down now
    “I’ll have to check my schedule.
    i might check out Anberlin that night”

    lucky for me
    the man turns and slips away
    before i admit
    anberlin is my favorite band
    i think i need to stop
    making fun of that festival
    it sounds great
    when i run into him there
    what will say?

    because it’s just my luck
    i’d run into him
    while waiting in line for a pretzel

  102. Jerry Walraven

    “If it weren’t for bad luck”

    Bad luck brought me here,
    following this crooked line
    from Misery
    and Michigan
    to this day,
    when the Sun angles in
    and reflects off of
    blue sky drawings
    of kittens and pups
    and rainbows
    and raindrops
    and smiling suns.
    This turned over glass,
    this spilled life
    found me here
    where I no longer
    think of luck
    or worry
    of its

  103. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Picked up a penny,
    Held it under the full moon,
    Donated a dime,
    Gave it up too soon!
    Danced on a dollar,
    Quickly lost the tune,
    Quieted a quarter,
    On the first of June,
    Nudged on a nickel,
    Breaking through an old cocoon,
    Put away a pound,
    Hidden in a bank,
    No one else had found,
    Had nobody to thank!
    I yielded every yen,
    Rounded every ruby,
    It was very Zen,
    Yet unlucky as could be!
    When you’re collecting money,
    It isn’t always quite a joke,
    You’d be better off hugging your honey,
    Then ending a poem . . .


      1. Janet Rice Carnahan

        Thank you, Pearl, Marie Elena and Sara . . . appreciate your kind words and the smiles! Gotta have those smiles! :) You just too sweet!

  104. lady maggie

    Friday, the 13th
            The threat to life (of love’s capricious dart,
            its poison proving meant’s not good enough
            unless both think so) is (not up to snuff
            no matter how much sacrificed) to start
            (there was a job, there was a place) to chart
            a course (and all the other legal stuff
            required of you to immigrate) to tough
            it out together, then fall far apart.
            It kills a man.   Then kills him back to back
            again until the man’s past all unknown
            and yet again until the man’s lost track
            and even yet again damned to his own
            dark hell.   All voided out.   All lost.   All black.
            Unwanted.   Turned away from.   That alone.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Powerful words and imagery…something about “meant’s not good enough unless both think so” is very striking to me; maybe that’s all love can ever be, is just when two people believe it is worth it?

  105. cam45237


    I’ve wasted days in many ways
    And searched the world over
    I never found a lucky charm
    Not a single four leaf clove.r

    I came across a rabbit’s foot
    And I began to grab it
    When I remembered that the token
    Wasn’t lucky for the rabbit.

    I had a plate of pork fried rice
    Then cracked the fortune cookie
    “Hard work is its own reward”
    …But it’s more fun playing hooky.

    This horseshoe came from off the foot
    Of the horse who set the pace
    But he threw the shoe and stumbled
    And of course he lost the race.

    Bending down I searched the ground
    And found a lucky penny
    But I’d purloined a copper coin
    And not the Horn of Plenty.

    I’m tired of fruitless searching
    And I no longer give a #@&*
    I’m giving up this vain pursuit
    And making my own luck.

  106. Arike


    Please leave a message after the tone
    A message is rarely left
    I, as owner of this number
    Promise not to disregard it
    I will listen carefully
    To what you tell me in a stutter
    A long monologue
    I can’t call you back
    You’ll forget to leave a number
    Makes you nervous, a recording
    Or I’ll listen to your phone
    Going click-beep-beep-beep
    And delete the message, irritated
    Why did you bother to call, then?


    Through the window two brown eyes
    I do not growl, but I can
    I haven’t decided you’re a friend
    Ring the doorbell, I dare you to try
    I’ll bark until my master comes
    He’ll send you away when he’s done
    I, I get to guard his house at night


    crack in the pavement
    hole in the tree
    stalk without flower
    a shambling walk to a

    wounded animal
    alcohol like blood
    in your veins on your clothes
    a vapour over you
    attracting predators

    no wallet no salary no food
    im sorry anna no i cant take this
    no wife no kids no home
    Antwerp central
    King’s hall for a citizen
    Old ghost passing through this station
    Marble arches up four storeys
    In a public building, this city
    Bragged to its inhabitants
    Monarchy and nobility afterthoughts
    In black brocade and lacy froths
    Urban palaces for mastercraftsmen
    The guild houses huddle over the market
    Sometimes it’s good to remember
    Modernity was three centuries old
    Before we first shouted hurrah for a king

    100% Privileged
    No friction to stop you
    Smooth slide up for your star
    Well-oiled, you think, you work
    So hard you got there all on your own
    Unnoticed all those open doors
    Undiscriminated, you white rich
    Creature of no suffering
    Insufferable how you complain
    Brag to friends you’ve made it
    It’s the random injustice you never
    Met that makes you elite
    Education is an option, jobs
    Aplenty, you’re welcome
    Everywhere you go so you don’t notice
    Everyone else outside looking in
    On what you have
    The point of a glass ceiling: it’s invisible


    No light to shed
    Shine no beams here
    Don’t light our grief

    A breath withheld
    A sound unmade
    A mouth closed now

    A lash flickers
    Swish of a robe
    Feathers rustle

    Fresh air comes in
    Bandages folded
    An empty shelf

    Someone took him
    He’s been stolen
    Where could he be

    Who would dare to
    It was sabbath
    It was Pesach

    Do not fear, but
    He’s no dead man
    Not anymore


    Two layers of epidermis engage, press, send
    Pressure receptors deeper in the skin firing
    The brain cries out that substance has been met
    Crossing signals; the mouth releases only breath

    A high whine when fingertips meet – what?
    Slick slide of still-bleeding wound?
    The prickle of an uneven clot?
    A bobble of uneven skin, raw flesh?
    Space where body was supposed to be?

    Unknown if he could see through the hole
    Did he really put his hand in that side?

    Eyewitnesses are dead
    Replicating events difficult

    We probably know the type of nail ca. 30 AD
    The standard issue spear for a Roman soldier
    What death, resurrection would do – physically
    Thomas knows


    I’m a madman, so regrettable
    Traitor, traitor, traitor, history says

    I expected a king and a conqueror
    David, smiting Romans, I never got

    I could kill you, I decided then
    Grab you, beat you, kill you, they will

    I don’t care, you should have been who
    Strong man, leader, Lion, who I wanted

    I had never meant to go so
    Far beyond the hurt I felt and hate


    It had paved the way for all those
    Fearing, plotting, powerhungry and scared

    Now you’re dead but they don’t weep who
    Called you rabbi, Peter, Mary, the rest

    So delusional, think you God, the
    Son of man and speak in tongues, insane!

    I can’t see what I believed so
    Long I gave up everthing, so useless

    I sow blood in a field bought from
    Money payed for blood, the silverlings

    He lies here, man without peace, whose
    Name is traitor, traitor, traitor now

    In the shadow

    World beneath the willow
    Where the ground’s a darker green
    The grass hushes to a softer whisper
    Because the breeze doesn’t quite reach
    Where the sun cannot attack you
    The whine of the bees just stops
    You lie softly sleeping, though
    Your math’s just halfway done

    10 april: Forest, n., collection of trees

    Young trees whisper in the breeze, no, atmosphere
    Rustling, a storm of excited voices
    Limbs reaching up and snapping together
    Leaves open to the light, veins
    Curling into symbols of sound

    Veins in a leaf on a branch in a tree
    Words in a book in a hand of a human
    Makes a
    Story in a head for a prize for a man
    Or woman? Today anyway

    It’s the teenager
    Telling the adult

    You did well, keep it up, so we’ll have
    Books in our hands like leaves on a tree
    Next year? Different books
    Stories don’t stop being told
    To a forest of vocal young primates

    11 april: spring

    Earth heats and humans pop up
    Park full of coats and strange souls in T-shirts
    The grass has barely woken up
    Half-crawled out of the mud, fresh green
    Stamped flat beneath determined feet
    Of prancing children and dancing cows
    No really, it was on the six o’ clock

    An agenda heavy with events drops
    On the mat. Too cold for the beach
    So people go cultural
    Reading a book is so last season
    Art fair, ethnic potluck
    Outside, but bring your coat

    Lean against a wall out of the wind
    Close your eyelids, a sunny orange
    Not long now, summer, the flap of a pigeon
    Nearly pooing on your head is almost a seagull

    Something knew

    Something cold made of wires
    In a room full of metal boxes
    Holds all the little files
    A nest of blind birds
    Flying out each year
    To you

    Something knew in there that
    You hadn’t filled out form… number?
    It’s virtual and empty so
    A gaping maw gobbles up
    Your right to a discount
    Bye, rent

    Something followed on that
    A generated letter informing
    You of a fait accompli
    Just an afterthought
    To the machine

    Something grew out of that
    Change in the program a full
    Year after you file a complaint
    A glacier, this cold box
    Telling you your rights

    Anatomy 13

    Fumble fingers
    Two left feet
    Hair-attracting eyes
    Gravity-defying hair
    Numb tongue, raw throat
    Sneeze-itch nose
    Overproductive tear-ducts
    Dry lips, splotchy cheeks
    Stiff neck and sore shoulders
    Wall-hitting elbows, knees
    Bad-timing bladder
    Sense of balance on vacation
    Ears in need of aid
    Bump-into-me backside
    Hello-table-corner hips
    Coffee-covered torso
    Friday’s body is bad of luck

  107. uneven steven

    The page a day
    calendar quote
    which I’ve kept on my wall
    for years, keeps telling
    me there are three kinds of luck-
    one I’ve translated as breeding stock,
    genetic, who the hell are these people
    I’ve grown up with my whole life
    kind of thing,
    is the kind you make yourself
    through your “thoughts, words and deeds”,
    oh, thank god for that one,
    the third one, however, is “heaven luck”,
    the one that’s been stuck in my mind like an itchy
    scab for years, I mean who knows,
    I tear down that stupid yellow sheet
    and the whole wall collapses,
    or worse, I spill coffee, have to take an extra laundry trip
    and voila, end up prematurely mortuaryified –
    I keep thinking, stalks of wheat
    if they could,
    would they curse the scythe,
    and if our reaper were like a real guy
    would I, should we, curse him, thank him,
    pity him, is that “cool book” I never read,
    the Tibetan book of the dead,
    like some kind of etiquette guide
    and why is it that every time I pause in my work
    I look up and see that “heaven luck” again
    and what did I want myself to learn when I put
    that damn thing up –
    that if I didn’t have bad luck
    that I would really
    be dead
    or dying
    from having
    no luck
    at all …

  108. Walt Wojtanik


    I hardly play the lottery.
    I’m never that lucky,
    players far as the I could see,
    my odds and chances are sucky.

    To me it’s just a get rich scheme,
    and I’m not the guy getting richer.
    for just a dollar and a dream,
    the government is the winner.

  109. Walt Wojtanik


    I wrecked my car.
    An unscheduled encounter
    with an inebriated idiot.
    Miracle that I walked unscathed.
    Broken rib, collar bone,
    two fracture vertebrae,
    broken leg and torn ICL.
    The poor bastard died;
    he had a bad day
    and I wrecked my damn car.

  110. uneven steven

    My most important memory

    and the words that seem like magic
    no longer whispering unexpectedly
    from behind my right ear-

    I so wanted to convey to you
    without greek myths or

    the hospital, my seeing you
    seeing me –
    our first long look of recognition

    and the only line of my poem

    the taut cord between us
    and someone always placing in my hands
    a smiling scissors

    I guess this would kind of qualify as an unlucky poem and luckily i get to do some of these at work – uh i think. Will do another more directly related to the topic if I get lucky this morning and have the time… but not in a fired kind of way .. unless that keeps me from dying in a tragic fire at work… kind of reminds me of a chinese tale of what we consider lucky and unlucky….

    1. Joseph Harker

      Steven, I just want to mention that I’ve been reading your work all month, and it’s very impressive stuff… been almost too busy to read or even write at all, but in the minutes I scrape together to skim, your pieces always stand out. Keep up the excellent writing, please! :)

      1. uneven steven

        Thank you very much for the kind comments. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this stimulating challenge and look forward to the next couple of weeks. Can’t guarantee “professionalism” in all of them though, often write tired and I usually try and wait before allowing others to see…. so if some don’t make sense probably not you :-)